Aerial footage from the Massachusetts State Police has been released, showing several officers pursuing and apprehending dirt bike riders who were allegedly racing through Lawrence at “high speeds and with no regard for traffic laws.”
A campaign against the illegal use of dirt bikes and ATVs, a warm-weather activity that has attracted police attention in towns and cities across the U.S., led to “seven arrests, 10 other persons being summonsed to face criminal charges, and the seizure of nearly 20 vehicles,” according to police.
“The operation of off-road vehicles on city streets, often driven recklessly, causes a significant safety threat to motorists and pedestrians,” Massachusetts State Police added. “Complaints of dirt bike and ATV operation on Lawrence streets have increased in recent years.”
One dirt bike racer appears to have run a red light at an intersection in Lawrence last Thursday according to aerial video captured by a police helicopter. This caused another car to press the brakes.
The person can then be seen getting off their dirt bike as cops arrive on a side street.
Soon after, following a foot pursuit, the suspect is apprehended.
Another arrest involves a dirt bike rider who is seen swerving between cars and walking at high speeds along a sidewalk before parking the bike behind an apartment block.
The police aircraft assists in directing the arrest of such a person by law enforcement.
“Using the helicopter’s Forward Looking Infrared and colour cameras, MSP Air 2 was able to provide continuous updates on their locations to ground units,” Massachusetts State Police said, noting that multiple law enforcement agencies took part in the operation.
“The operation resulted in the seizure of 18 off-road vehicles, arrests of seven suspects for various offences including unlicensed operation, reckless operation, and receiving a stolen motor vehicle, and the issuance of 10 criminal summons and 50 citations,” police added. “One stolen car was also located and seized. Some of the seized bikes are suspected of having been previously stolen.”
In connection with complaints about off-road vehicles in Lawrence, a male suspect earlier this week was also charged with assault and battery on a police officer after allegedly assaulting an MSP Gang Unit Trooper, according to State Police.
Lawrence is close to New Hampshire and is situated north of Boston.